Dyche: We're In Good Shape For Run-In
Boss happy with Clarets' form ahead of final four games
Sean Dyche believes the Clarets are still well placed to deliver a final push for Premier League safety.
Burnley go to Fulham next Monday night knowing that victory at Craven Cottage will guarantee top-flight status for a sixth successive year.
The Londoners – 18th in the table – are currently nine points behind Burnley with four games left to try and escape the relegation places.
And Dyche feels that despite winning just one of their last five games, his team is playing well enough to successfully negotiate the run-in.
“We’ve got four games to go,” said the Burnley boss.
“We have to stay focused on the next one, while also allowing ourselves the reality that there are four games to go.
“That’s something we have to factor into our thinking – although the next one’s the most important.
“We’ve had lesser runs of form and created a lot more points on the table.
“Our actual form has been good. I didn’t think it was a bad performance, remotely, against West Ham. I thought they were very good.
“Our performance level was still high. Our physical level was brilliant that night, so I think the players are in good shape to take on the next four games.”
Monday night’s 2-1 loss to top-four hopefuls West Ham extended the Clarets’ winless home run to eight games.
But since beating Aston Villa at Turf Moor at the end of January, Dyche’s men have collected 14 points home and away to take their tally to 36.
And having taken just two points from their first seven games, that run of form has put them within touching distance of safety.
“The players deserve massive credit for getting the season back on line and then delivering a very consistent level of performance to get the points we’ve got,” Dyche added.
“I’ve seen lately performances don’t guarantee you win a game. But they give you a much better chance and a much better chance over a consistent period.
“I think that’s what we’ve looked for and the players have delivered that this season to get to where we are and now it’s about going strong for the last four games.”
Top scorer Chris Wood will be fit to face Fulham after coming off late on against West Ham with a dead leg.
Midfielder Dale Stephens – who was part of the starting line-up that knocked Fulham out of the FA Cup with an impressive 3-0 win at Craven Cottage in January – is expected to be available, despite a knock that may require some intervention at some stage.
But Robbie Brady and Kevin Long, who scored the final goal in the cup win, are both still out.